Philippine banana exports set to climb

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Carl Collen

BY CARL COLLEN

Philippine banana exports set to climb

Overall value of exports is expected to increase to US$828m this year, according to a newly-released forecast

Philippine banana exports set to climb

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The Philippines Banana Growers and Exporters Association (PGBEA) has revealed that the country's banana shipments this are expected to total US$828m in value this year, an increase of 15 per cent on 2008's US$720m of revenue, boosted by competitive farming and shipping methods.

PGBEA spokesperson Anthony Sasin said that the figures represented around 2.2m tonnes of banana exports or 170m boxes, up from last year's total of 1.9m tonnes or 148m boxes, the Business Inquirer reported.

According to Mr Sasin, the future is bright for the country's banana industry, with countries like Japan – which boasts some of the strictest quality standards in the world – taking on significant volumes of fruit.

"Japan has the most stringent standards worldwide, with pages upon pages of requirements, tests on chemical residue and demand for traceability, yet we pass these with flying colours," he said.

Meanwhile, Australia and, more recently, the US are beginning to open up their markets to Filipino bananas.

Indeed, access to the US moved closer in recent weeks with news that the United States Department of Agriculture had issued an import risk analysis, stating entry may be granted if measures are put in place to address 14 quarantined pests.

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